If you have been anywhere near social media, especially Instagram, you’ve probably noticed the sudden rise in popularity of journaling. And like me, you’ve probably also had that urge to start one of these artsy journals for yourself. Hold that brand new journal in your hands and spill your imagination onto its crisp blank pages. . . Ah, I can just smell that new book smell!~ However, collecting all sorts of stickers and other stationery doodads can sometimes be expensive especially if you are looking for ones with a vintage look to them.
Personally, the more customizable something is, the better it is for me. So, when starting my journal I went all out. I tea stained paper, bound the pages together, made a nice vintage cover, and after a week of laboring, I had myself a new journal! Of course, you don’t have to go the extra mile like I did. Adding a few touches of aged paper can give your journal or scrapbook that classic vintage look. Besides being a creative way to pass the time, it can also save you money when using decorations.
These few ways to age paper that I am going to share with you, are very simple and can be easily done at home with just a couple of materials.
One of the simplest and well known ways to age paper is tea staining. As the name implies, you are simply submerging the paper in tea and letting it soak until the paper is tinted by the tea. Then all you have to do is remove the paper from the tea and let it dry completely before using. This method is especially good when you are using said paper for writing on. Imagine writing a letter with this. Creating beautiful calligraphy with a fountain pen on its surface. Very classy and very romantic!
- 4 Cups of Black Tea
- Large Baking Dish
- Drawing Paper (at least 70 lb.)
- Paper Towels
- Brew your tea how you normally would. You can use any tea you want, but I find that black tea works the best as it gives the paper a better, deeper tint. Let the tea cool completely before using. Transfer the tea to the baking dish.
- Submerge each sheet of paper into the tea. Let it soak for a couple of minutes on each side. The longer you soak the paper the darker the tint will be. I usually soak the paper for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove the paper and gently shake out the excess tea. Place each sheet of paper on a flat surface lined with paper towels. Let dry.
If you are going for a darker vintage look, scorching paper can be a very creative way to decorate your journal. Paper aged this way always gives a melancholic and nostalgic mood to your project. With this method specifically, you also have to be very careful, of course. You are after all using fire on something very flammable! Use a work area that is solid and not flammable and always keep the flame from coming in contact with any other objects around you.
- Light the candle and place on a flat, sturdy surface. Very carefully hover the paper over the flame without touching it. Doing this will only stain the paper with a smoke effect.
- For more, carefully touch the corners or sides of the paper to the flame. Blow out the flame on the paper before the paper is completely consumed. Pat down the paper after you are finished.
This method is the easiest and I actually learned this at school while working on a project. We were supposed to be making the paper look old and cloth-like so that we could then draw a map on it. Image my surprise when the map turned out looking very real and very old.~
- Simply crumple a piece of paper in your hands several times. Unfurling it, then crumpling it again until it becomes wrinkled and softer. You can also rub the paper on itself so that it will become softer still and look more like cloth.
If you have any other methods that you like to use to age paper or otherwise make vintage stationery, comment them below!